Why in the world would the Bush administration push a draft, which might make some of the wealthy have to go actually serve their country and tick off those who don't want to go, when they can spend tons of taxmoney to outsource the military to private contractors?
"In an interview on National Public Radio's 'All Things Considered,' Lute said the military is competing for a 'very narrow slice' of high school graduates and that the draft is one of several options to prevent the military from breaking. . . .
"National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Lute's comments were consistent with President Bush's stated policy in regard to any potential use of the draft. 'The president believes an all-volunteer military serves the country well, and there is no discussion of returning to a draft,' Johndroe said."
That is JUST NOT TRUE. The President is LYING. We do NOT have an all-volunteer military. Up to 40 cents of every war dollar goes to CONTRACTORS aka Mercenaries.
If you think the U.S. has only 160,000 troops in Iraq, think again.
With almost no congressional oversight and even less public awareness, the Bush administration has more than doubled the size of the U.S. occupation through the use of private war companies.
There are now almost 200,000 private “contractors” deployed in Iraq by Washington. This means that U.S. military forces in Iraq are now outsized by a coalition of billing corporations whose actions go largely unmonitored and whose crimes are virtually unpunished.
In essence, the Bush administration has created a shadow army that can be used to wage wars unpopular with the American public but extremely profitable for a few unaccountable private companies.
Since the launch of the “global war on terror,” the administration has systematically funneled billions of dollars in public money to corporations like Blackwater USA , DynCorp, Triple Canopy, Erinys and ArmorGroup. They have in turn used their lucrative government pay-outs to build up the infrastructure and reach of private armies so powerful that they rival or outgun some nation’s militaries.
“I think it’s extraordinarily dangerous when a nation begins to outsource its monopoly on the use of force and the use of violence in support of its foreign policy or national security objectives,” says veteran U.S. Diplomat Joe Wilson, who served as the last U.S. ambassador to Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War.
The billions of dollars being doled out to these companies, Wilson argues, “makes of them a very powerful interest group within the American body politic and an interest group that is in fact armed. And the question will arise at some time: to whom do they owe their loyalty?”
Dennis Kucinich comments on this.
In a revealing admission, Gen. David Petraeus, who is overseeing Bush’s troop “surge,” said earlier this year that he has, at times, been guarded in Iraq by “contract security.” At least three U.S. commanding generals, not including Petraeus, are currently being guarded in Iraq by hired guns. “To have half of your army be contractors, I don’t know that there’s a precedent for that,” says Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been investigating war contractors.
“Maybe the precedent was the British and the Hessians in the American Revolution. Maybe that’s the last time and needless to say, they lost. But I’m thinking that there’s no democratic control and there’s no intention to have democratic control here.”
A draft would bring resistance.And accountability.
“To the extent a population is called upon to go to war, there is resistance, a necessary resistance to prevent wars of self-aggrandizement, foolish wars and in the case of the United States, hegemonic imperialist wars. Private forces are almost a necessity for a United States bent on retaining its declining empire. Think about Rome and its increasing need for mercenaries.”
Privatized forces are also politically expedient for many governments. Their casualties go
uncounted, their actions largely unmonitored and their crimes unpunished. Indeed, four years into the occupation, there is no effective system of oversight or accountability governing contractors and their operations, nor is there any effective law — military or civilian being applied to their activities. They have not been subjected to military courts martial (despite a recent congressional attempt to place them under the Uniform Code of Military Justice), nor have they been prosecuted in U.S. civilian courts. And no matter what their acts in Iraq, they cannot be prosecuted in Iraqi courts because in 2004 the U.S. occupying authority granted them complete immunity.
“These private contractors are really an arm of the administration and its policies,” argues Kucinich, who has called for a withdrawal of all U.S. contractors from Iraq. “They charge whatever they want with impunity. There’s no accountability as to how many people they have, as to what their activities are.”
That raises the crucial question: what exactly are they doing in Iraq in the name of the U.S. and U.K. governments? Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a leading member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which is responsible for reviewing sensitive national security issues, explained the difficulty of monitoring private military companies on the U.S. payroll: “If I want to see a contract, I have to go up to a secret room and look at it, can’t take any notes, can’t take any notes out with me, you know — essentially, I don’t have access to those contracts and even if I did, I couldn’t tell anybody about it.”
Privatizing the occupation.
In many ways, it is the same corporate model of relying on cheap labor in destitute nations to staff their uber-profitable operations. The giant multinationals also argue they are helping the economy by hiring locals, even if it’s at starvation wages.
“Donald Rumsfeld’s masterstroke, and his most enduring legacy, was to bring the corporate branding revolution of the 1990s into the heart of the most powerful military in the world,” says Naomi Klein, whose upcoming book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, explores these themes.
“We have now seen the emergence of the hollow army. Much as with so-called hollow corporations like Nike, billions are spent on military technology and design in rich countries while the manual labor and sweat work of invasion and occupation is increasingly outsourced to contractors who compete with each other to fill the work order for the lowest price. Just as this model breeds rampant abuse in the manufacturing sector — with the big-name brands always able to plead ignorance about the actions of their suppliers—so it does in the military, though with stakes that are immeasurably higher.” In the case of Iraq, the U.S. and U.K. governments could give the public perception of a withdrawal of forces and just privatize the occupation. Indeed, shortly after former British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that he wanted to withdraw 1,600 soldiers from Basra, reports emerged that the British government was considering sending in private security companies to “fill the gap left behind.”
Let's just say that the United States DOES draw down the all-volunteer force but continues to have mercenaries there. Has anyone asked the candidates for president about this? I mean, we'd still be paying a lot of money to occupy Iraq but citizens might cease to pay attention once it was paid soldiers only. IF that is the plan. I found that last comment about the British pretty interesting-that they would fill the gap in Basra with mercenaries.